Landscape on a Black Square – Process as part of the piece

This week I am part of an exhibition called “Everyone should paint a black square at least once in their life”, I is on display at Raum Gallery. It is very interesting to see how 14 people approach this theme from so many different perspectives.

I have to say that this was a quite interesting experiment for me as I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to make just hours before the deadline. At the end I delivered a piece that evolved onto the most unexpected thing as I ended up doing a drawing/text piece.

The day before that I made a drawing of a landscape inside an black square using a fairly complicated process. I did record the whole process as I thought it would present it next to the piece, On the day of the opening and having a chat with Anthi and Donald, I ended up writing a text that became a significant part of the piece.

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The process (text)

  1. A Preview was used to open a .jpg file made from a screen capture of a environment created using a .fbx file made from a .svg file generated from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  2. A Blender was used to import a .svg file made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. A curve was converted into a mesh and then it was extruded on a “Z” axis, afterwards it was exported as a .fbx
  3. A Photoshop was used to open a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.. It was developed and it and saved as a .jpg
  4. A black marker was used to draw a Black Square over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  5. A camera was used to make a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  6. A Illustrator was used to open a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. It was converted into a vector shape and exported it as a .svg
  7. A Unity was used to import a .fbx file created from a .svg file made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. It was placed on a plane and scaled up until it looked huge, then, a prefab character was placed inside and used to walk around to test all. Some mountains and trees were added and it was tested again. A prefab character was used to find a perfect spot, then, cmnd+shift+3 were pressed to create a .jpg file from a screen capture.
  8. A black pen was used to draw a landscape inside a black square that was drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook using a black marker. It was a landscape from a .jpg file made from a screen capture of a 3D environment generated using a .fbx file created from a .svg file that was made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.

The process

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Finding the right spot

I did Run the Unity file and walked around the space util I found the perfect spot to make my drawing.

My reflections

I had the intention to ad text as part of my pieces, this exercise has given me some ideas to use it in the future, It was fun to remove my self from the text and make it as a vague instructional document.

I thing I will keep on looking for new ways to reflect about my process.

 

I brought you a boot from Paris

Last week I went on a trip to Paris, nice weather, lovely company and lots of interesting places to visit. Since the first day, I used my camera for different experiments while walking freely through the streets of this wonderful city, one might say that this was my first big psychogeographic exploration.

Right now I am building several models and I wanted to post some renders of one that is really interesting for me as it combines an actual object with a chunk of the surrounding environment.

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This exercise has taught me a lot, now I am planning to build both a VR “walk around” and a 360 video.

My reflection:

I think I have a lot to explore, many ideas in my head, it is really interesting to create “3D found objects” from photographs, there are a lot of technical questions to keep in mind but I really like aesthetics of this digitalization process, I think this offers a lot of opportunities for my research on the process of memory preservation an recollection.

VR Splash – A collective experience

On the 27 of May, I conducted two VR workshops for students and staff at Camberwell, the main goal was to engage in conversation around the possibilities of using VR as a tool or a medium on the creative process, the balance was really great as 7 students and 2 members of staff joined the conversation.

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The participants shared images from personal work to be used as textures wrapped around different kinds of 3D objects inside the VR environment.

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We also reviewed the basic workflow for VR creation on a live demostration using Photoshop, Blender, Photoscan and Unity software.

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At the end, every body had the opportunity to test the final product by navigating the VR experience using a Virtual Reality headset.

Reflection:

This was a very interesting experience for me, it has given me the confidence to create similar events to engage with students and staff that might share my interests on new technologies.

Special Thanks:

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge the help of two members of staff that helped me a lot to make this workshop possible.

Hannah Pring
Student Marketing Manager
Camberwell College of Arts

Samira Tristani-Firouzi
CCW Engagement Coordinator

 

 

Digital Maker Week

Last week we had the second big event since the Digital Maker Collective was created, the CCW DIGITAL MAKER WEEK held at Chelsea College of Arts.

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It was a great week full of different activities around the use of digital technology, I was in charge of the Virtual/mixed reality session.

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I did enjoy the challenge of engaging in conversations with different students while building and testing a VR experience.

Reality as a Streamline – A trip through the Neurohighways

While working on my first VR project I could not help to think that for most of the time, we humans (I guess animals too) end up living our lives inside of fixed paths. I started to imagine that they are like tunnels that cut through reality offering us with a secure yet very narrow view over the physical existence.

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From my research on neuroscience,I know that this phenomenon has a biological explanation and a big impact on the way we experience life.

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This is a pretty interesting fact that I will explore by creating more VR experiences.

Hands on matter – Evolving the image

Since the beginning of my painting career, I`ve been interested in the use different materials as a way to expand the representative potential of painting. This is a short review on the most significant landmarks on this active research:

MDF – Slippery paper
2008 – 2010

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Around the year 2009, I started to experiment on this material, I was cheap so it was great for sketch making. One of the first things I learned about it was that it allowed the brush stroke to smoothly cover a bigger distance. This was one important discovery that made me aware of the convenience of smooth surfaces. The biggest downside was that you have to take really good care of it, after all, it is similar to paper.

MACHETE TIME – Shape the painting.
2011

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Around 2011, I was again working over conventional canvas and MDF was almost in the past. Although I used to do a lot of oil painting, Acrylic paint started to attract my attention. At first I used it as the first layer for oil painting but with time, my use for it grew up to the point it replaced oils.

On one point, I wanted to paint over objects, so I made two experiments with oil based painting over milk cans, this gave me a new insight so I started to paint over objects in order to build a relation between the physical shape of the object and the depicted image. I had chosen to paint over Machetes and the final outcome opened a new path for my practice, now it was all about metal, acrylic paint and polyurethane varnish.

POP – Color fields and repetition
2012 – 2013

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At this point I was really excited about using iron plaques and metal objects, I was really into acrylic painting and my motives were evolving more than ever before. I was starting to liberate from fixed photographic images and visual composition became an stimulating adventure. I felt free to experiment so I began by changing the context and the colors inside the piece. The use of patterns set the ground for the use of pixels and for the first time I took the risk of creating my first 3D painting sculptures. The downs side of Iron was that the pieces were to heavy and some of them actually ended up damaged by a combination of gravity and hard floor.

OILY LOVE – Landscape and flesh
2014 – 2015

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I am not sure why, maybe it was the speed of things or the size of my expectations or the way I used to push things, by the beginning of 2014 I was exhausted and with a bitter taste on my mouth. I needed to find the joy that was missing on my brush strokes, I needed to take a deep breath and recover my energy, it was time for oil painting.

Landscapes and Figure were my main source for inspiration. I stayed well away from traditional canvas by using several different materials e.g. Fiberglass with paper collage, synthetic paper and found objects. I started to embrace more elements of the digital aesthetics e.g. pixels, glitches, color aberration, overexposure, bad framing, blurriness.

3D painting – Layers of reality
2015-2016

Around April 2015 I started working on 3D paper models, I was trying to find an affordable and flexible way to create three dimensional models. The use of Blender introduced me to 3D image composition, now I had the opportunity to compose and alter the 3D shape of the image.

Once I started my MA in London, I was able take things further thanks to the use of a 3D printing, this opened things for me because I was no longer limited by the complexity of the shape I wanted to create, or at least, that is what I though.

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After a while, some issues were starting to be a real problem, firstly, 3D printing is a fairly complex process and a lot of things may go wrong (and actually did), secondly, affordable 3D printing has serious size restrictions, finally, 3D printers are delicate equipment and by February 2016 the College’s 3D printer was damaged (and still is). Although I was upset at the beginning, this ended up being an opportunity to take things further both on digital and physical grounds.

Camberwell Roller Coaster – Going VR
March 2016

On March 2016 I made my first site specific VR project, It was a piece that explored the use of 3D software to reflect about the perception of space while expanding the formal elements of Digital Photography. This project also introduced my self into 360 video production.

Landscape extrusion – Modeling and Sculpting
March – April 2016

A month ago I was thinking on how to make bigger 3D physical objects without 3D printing nor 3D paper modeling. My first option was to assemble several MDF laser cut silhouettes. Although it was a pretty interesting process, I ended up on a dead end once I realized that it was going to be a pretty complex task to make it a strong and lightweight piece.

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After awhile, I remembered a talk I had with the technician of the 3D workshop, we talked about several materials and one of them seemed to be suited for my present needs; polystyrene foam sheets. Last week I made a new model from a landscape and now I am modeling the physical piece while reflecting about the different aspects of this new kind of process and how it fits into my practice…

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…and that is why I needed to write this post.

Camberwell Rollercoaster – Fishing with VR

DIWO-1This last Wednesday Raum Gallery opened the door for me and I had the opportunity to spend for almost 7 hours sharing my first VR piece with people that was passing by (At some point I used the VR set as a “fish hook” – it worked!).

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Although I was not counting, I estimate that at least 50 brave participants sat to experiment my VR experiment. This experience taught me a lot as I had the opportunity to chat with almost everybody about the experience.

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One unexpected and wonderful fact about this whole event is that, for more than half of the participants, it was the first time ever they interacted with a VR device.

Although it may feel quite different, I want to share this video in order to give you the flavor of what people experienced.

Special thanks to:

-Donald.
-Cèline.
-Anthi.

360 + hours to render!

Last week I started to work on an animation for a VR presentation that I made yesterday. When I was working on Blender, I decided to check if it was possible to make a 360 video of this animation, I discovered that it was actually very easy to set the parameters to render this kind of video, however, the difficult part is actually rendering the video on a decent quality. Now I know that I have to find a powerful computer to get it right.

So far I’ve made 4 attempts, this is the one with the biggest quality :/
TRY IT ON YOUR MOBILE

Mirror mirror on the… screen.

The last couple of weeks I have been thinking about mirrors and how they reflect reality, It came to my mind for two reasons: the first one is that my girlfriend is doing her MA research on mirrors in photography so I’ve been discussing this topic with her, the second reason is that on a trip to Barcelona I ended up having lunch in a special little restaurant with a really cool tiled wall and I took some interesting pictures of it.

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Thanks to this experiment, I’ve decided to simulate the same situation by creating a 3D object and using it to reflect a photograph, to be thankful, I decided to use my girlfriend as the model.

So far I’ve made 3 different prototypes:

-Simple object for reflection (to get familiar with the digital process).

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Reflection #1:

In this piece I was trying to understand how to simulate the physical reflection, the end result was a bit unexpected put it gave me elements to plan something more interesting, I would like to add that at the moment I have little control over the layout of the image and I’m not yet able to add more than one image. One interesting thing I’ve found is that I can use 3D digital object to actively interact with the image, it does not have to be a one way process like I have done in the past.

-Complex object for reflection

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Reflection #2:

Things got more interesting when i did this other piece, it reminded me of the work of Anne Spalter, an artist I saw on Lumen Price conference. At that time I was captivated by the possibilities of her video process. In this case, I think I found a different way to obtain the thing I found interesting in her work, but at the same time, I gained more perspective to move forward in my own direction.

-Complex object animated reflection

Thanks to the previous result, I wanted to take thing forward to see how this image reflection my work on a moving object, I was particularly interested in seeing the way transitions occur. This was a very simple animation to understand the process.

Reflection #3:

This was an interesting result, I would like to take some time to think about the out come, at the end I’m able to control the reflecting object but still not able to have a lot of control on the reflected image.
I will also like to think about how to explore video pieces because at the moment I am centered on 3D printing, eider way, I’m really happy about this experiment, I know that in the near future I will make more of this.

Final reflection:

Lately I have been looking at some of the work of Francis Bacon; the way he treats space, the way he molds the figures, the colors, the expressions on the brush… in a way, I feel I am dealing with some of the same questions he had in his mind.

Right now I’m focused on how to approach the boundaries between visual realism and abstraction and I feel that the mirrored image is an interesting asset in order to obtain some kind of appealing image that blends abstraction and visual realism in a flexible and captivating way.

Reality as a material – Object #1

This is my first model using some photos I took while Philip was posing, In this case I wanted to do a simple approach to 3D modeling by using a simplified mesh with the combination of 3 photos, The lack of care is intentional as I was looking for a non-realistic representation.

Refection:

It is interesting for me to observe an increase of the “weigh” of the representation by the use of 3D modeling, maybe it has to do with the fact that subject and environment are joined together, I am also aware that the previous knowledge of this scene may interfere with the way I see it, but anyway, I feel that I can suppress more parts of the visual references in order to achieve new and interesting outcomes.

An other interesting thing, is that when I rotate the model I find more information to complete the interpretation of the “scene” (It sound obvious) but I feel that this new information doesn’t need to be presented in a specific order or even more, doesn’t have to be presented as a physical extension of the previous images, It feels that the brain is capable of accepting the changes of directions and even gets excited if presented new and challenging information, I think this is a really good opportunity to start playing with ambiguity!